Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Horn-tooting, French food and feather fans: translation of KIKI launched in London

VALENTINE'S NIGHT saw the launch of the English-language translation of Kiki de Montparnasse by London publisher Self Made Hero, named as the Observer's Graphic Novel of the Month. [Horn-tooting disclaimer: reader, I translated it, and by damn, it was fun.]

Forever pushing the envelope when it comes to launches (last year's party for Cash: I see a darkness by Reinhard Kleist translated by Michael Waaler was held at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, sponsored by Chivas Regal), the Kiki Valentine's night dinner took the... cheesecake. Celebrated at Hardy's Brasserie in London's Marylebone, the atmosphere was distinctly French and enormous fun, thanks to the stripy-shirted Francophone staff and French-themed menu. Catel & Bocquet, the prize-winning BD duo made up of artist Catherine Muller and José-Louis Bocquet, were on hand to sketch and sign, respectively, and proved wildly popular with the KIKI enthusiasts cum diners in the packed-out restaurant.

In a personal first for this lifelong book launch attendee, and in true Kiki style, there was a burlesque artist! The divine Marianne Cheesecake was on hand for flirty, feather-covered fabulousness. I think it's safe to say that this improved Valentine's for many a gentleman BD fan, and indeed, that Kiki herself would have approved.